The most comprehensive type of review is the in-person (field) audit. During a field audit, a revenue agent will typically visit your location, tour the premises and conduct an in-person interview. On the other hand, correspondence audits and compliance checks are generally conducted by mail and telephone.
For an in-person (field) audit, the revenue agent will conduct an initial interview with an officer or representative of the organization. The agent will also tour the organization’s office with an individual who is knowledgeable about its operations and readily available to answer questions. The tour allows the revenue agent to observe the facility, operations and activities of the organization and to refine the scope of the examination. It helps the agent understand how the organization's activities further its exempt purposes.
During a field audit, the revenue agent will review requested items, including:
- books and records
- annual returns
- related returns, e.g., employment tax returns, Form 1099 series information returns
- prior and subsequent year returns
During a correspondence audit or a compliance check, IRS personnel will review requested items submitted via mail and follow up by telephone or mail as needed. Additional information may be requested.
Depending on the review of requested items:
- An audit (whether field or correspondence) or compliance check may be expanded to include prior and subsequent years and/or related returns.
- A compliance check may become a correspondence audit or an in person (field) audit. You will be informed in writing if a compliance check expands to become an audit before asking any questions relating to tax liability. See Publication 4386 for more information.
- A correspondence audit may become an in person (field) audit
The IRS does not use e-mail to request personal or financial information or to conduct a review of an organization.
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